If it’s 1849
your name’s Walter Hunt
and you owe fifteen bucks
to the draughtsman,
twisting a piece of wire
for three hours one afternoon
should be about enough time
to make the first safety pin
— complete with coil spring
and hidden point.
After you’ve sold the rights
and paid off your debt
you get to pocket
the small fortune of $85!
© 2011 by V. Nesdoly
The story of Walter Hunt and how he invented the safety pin comes in several versions. The one below (from answers.com) claims he sold the rights for $100. Other versions say $400.
“The product that Hunt patented as a dress pin is what is commonly known as a safety pin. Hunt was anxiously trying to figure out how to pay back a $15 debt. While discussing his dilemma with a friend, Hunt was nervously twisting a piece of wire in his hand when he suddenly came up with the idea for a pin. Hunt’s creation improved upon existing safety pins in two important ways. First, the point was completely covered when the pin was closed so it was truly safe. Second, Hunt added a circular twist at the bend of the pin to act as a spring and hold it in place. Hunt took his new invention to a manufacturer named Jonathan Richardson and sold the rights to him for only $100. Hunt was able to pay off his debt, but he once again could not profit from future sales of his product.”
I posted this poem in response to a challenge to revive a dead metaphor. The original article is “Guy Kawasaki says to Use Poetry In Business“
4 thoughts on “Pin money”
Violet, great choice of a metaphor. You take on a perfect voice for this poem. Well done!
I enjoyed the history you included, too.
Amazing history. In a very fun form. 🙂 (I’ve been telling my kids they should turn their history stuff into poems… a lot more fun.
Pin Money. I love it!
By the title I thought is was going to be about pinning money in the hem of a garment. Now I see how a safety pin touches money in two ways…
your style of writing is outstanding.
check out short story slam today. hope to see your participation.